Sad Sack Chronicles Vol 1

Well, so it’s a new year and shit, huh?  It’s also my first sad lonely Saturday with nothing to do and no one to talk to.  I’ve decided to not make the trek to Park Slope, to find a random bar in which to drink and hope for social situations to present themselves (as I tend to do in these situations).  Instead I’m here trying out being at home on a Sat night.  Maybe working on some projects and whatnot.

Here’s something to listen to. I kinda want to be this guy, but why?

As it does happen to be the beginning of the year, I’ve of course renewed my age-old habit of beating myself up for not being amazing and creative and successful at sexy shit.  I queued up a half dozen classes aimed at fixing that, like this class on making shit with the Arduino microprocessor thing at 3rd Ward.  Because I like to build shit with my hands and because cool.

ARDUINO: Tinkers of tomorrow love this thing
Tinkers of tomorrow love this thing

And of course I have failed to pull the trigger on almost all of them.  And of course I did pull the trigger on the lamest, most staid, most sure-to-be-a-dud-waste-of-money failure boring self-loathing-fest of them all: memoir writing.  I’ve taken–or tried to take, I should say–a few classes at the Gotham Writers Workshop before.  The first one, which wasn’t really aimed at anything other than getting your feet wet with the whole concept, was great.  Phenomenal.  The teacher had a cool, bitter-positive hopeful vibe, and the other students were all winners in their respective fields: lawyers, directors, musicians, surgeons, me.

And then I tried a for-real one.  And it was full of losers.  From the teacher to the idiots in the class with me.  I dropped after the second class, ate the cost and swallowed my guilt. Made it part of my soul.  Then I tried one of their online courses.  Well holy shit what a terrible idea.  Don’t ever do that.  A voluntary online writing course is DUMB.  The teacher uploaded canned “lectures” every week and I copy pasted them into a file, browsed the chat section and did the internet equivalent of holding my hands over my ears and eyes.  It was gross and made me feel like a loser who loses at even the easiest things in life, like losing shit.

I’ve gone on record saying I wouldn’t ever do that again.  But here I am.

Yeah, but – Moving Forward?

Next, I hooked my mic up to my computer and steeled myself, took a few deep breaths, queued up this song…

And recorded myself singing along.  I have a super secret fantasy that I could maybe leverage my soothing adult voice and “computers” into an underground run of awesome electro-folk covers of this kind of shit.  My voice alone, without the music, was scary bad.  I am not discouraged.

Maybe Can Help Me Be Happy?

I got a book recently.  Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.  I think probably enough said, but lemme summarize at least.  He’s developed an alternative to Freud’s principles of psychotherapy, centering around the concept of meaning rather than pleasure maximization or whatever.  Or I guess I should say Meaning with the capital M.  The first half is an account of his survival of the Nazi concentration camps.  It’s written in a fairly plain, matter-of-fact tone.  It basically serves as proof of concept for the theories he fully developed in the camps (he’d been a psychotherapist prior to internment with the kernels of this concept already a’brewin).  That is, given that in the camps there are situations in which all of the other psychological theories utterly fail to explain why some people managed to live (pleasure principle? Oedipus? huh?! not even relevant at Auschwitz) rather than simply lying down and dying in response to the utter misery and horror they experienced every day.

Meaning.  The key is that people who can find a meaning in life can strive and live despite the most horrible suffering anyone can dream up.  And this can be expanded to resolve a host of “neuroses” and general problems in regular life.  I just finished a section in which Frankl solves sexual dysfunction quite handily.  I’ve tested his theory and I agree.  You’ve gotta read it, or ask me and I’ll flesh that out.

Anyway, I haven’t finished it because I have a block when it comes to doing/learning anything that might make my life more meaningful.  I really should.  But that’s what all this bullshit with the classes and the music (and the blog, for fuck’s sake) is about.  Except for me it no longer feels sufficient to take a class on writing or web design or making a thing beep and light up when it detects electro-magnetic fields.  Everything feels like a pointless failure before it begins.  You know EXACTLY how I feel, don’t you?  Let’s all blame technology and capitalism, ok?